In confirmation bias the observer interprets findings as confirming the observer's theories or beliefs. This is the most unscientific of biases, since beliefs trump data.

Synonyms: confirmatory bias, myside bias


If the findings do support the observer's beliefs then this may go undetected.


Areas where problems may arise:

(1) A tendency to exclude data that contradicts the observer's beliefs.

(2) A tendency to not question things that support beliefs.

(3) A tendency to overinterpret the significance of weak data.

(4) A tendency to ignore the significance of contradictory findings.

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